Friday, 14 April 2017

Edith Emma Rollins

My maternal Great Grandmother - Edith Emma Rollins

Edith was born to James Edward Rollins and Louisa A. Oliver, on 25 Dec 1876 in Bath, Maine, USA.     She resided with her parents, 1 sister and 6 brothers.  She married James J. McLean (1873-1939) in Plymouth, New Hampshire on 1 Jan 1895.  From Plymouth they moved to Lincoln, Grafton, New Hampshire where her son Edwin Laughlin McLean was born on 26 July 1895.  The 1900 census shows that the family lived in Bangor, Maine.   In 1910 they resided in Boston, Massachusetts.  In 1911 they made their way to Canada to start a new life.  James and Edwin are listed in the 1911 Canada census, however Edith is not listed with them.  I am thinking that she may of been in Maine visiting with her family.  They were residing in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

From what I am told by my Mom and her siblings, Edith was a very smart business woman.  She was kind and loving person.  Loved to socialize.  She loved to go and watch the movies downtown.  Edith was always dressed fashionably.  Her shoes and purse always matched her outfit.  She loved to wear hats.

On 25 April 1962, at the age of 85, Edith passed away.  She had nine grandchildren and twenty-four great grandchildren.  She is buried in the Edmonton Cemetery with her husband James.


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Mary Jane McFadzen

 This is a story that my Grandmother wrote which was published in a book.  I hope this is ok to publish as I am not sure of  copyright issues.


The story was written by Mary Jane McLean (nee McFadzen) (my Grandmother).  The Story was taken from the book Cherished Memories Complied by Ardrossan Unifarm

James and William McFadzen better known as Jim and Bill were brothers who always lived together.  James became a widower in 1901, with three daughters, the youngest being only three weeks old.  Her name was Alice and she was raised by Jim's sister Mrs. Agnes Stewart.  Shortly after, brother William got married and his wife took care of my sister, Florence (Flossie) and myself (Mary).
In 1903 the two families arrived in Strathcona, bringing with them a team of horses and three cows.  They took on a restaurant business which was situated right where the Army and Navy Store is today on 104 Street and Whyte Avenue.  After a year's time they thought there were more possibilities in homesteading.  They had a two-storey frame house built on Uncle Bill's quarter.  By this time Uncle Bill had two boys; James and Charles and as soon as the house was ready we all went out to our new home.
The base line was the only road in those days that went east of Strathcona and it only went a very few miles; the rest of the way one had to take the line of least resistance.  I remember the trip out to the farm.  I can't recall what household effects we had, but we children had a feather bed to sit on which helped as shock absorber.  Uncle Bill's wife had to hold the baby in her arms to save him from the bad jolts when we drove over logs.  The location is known today as the Garden District.
It was impossible to make any sort of livelihood off the land, so the men had to go elsewhere to make money for food and clothing.  In the first winters my father would go to the logging camps and cook; in the spring Uncle Bill would go to Strathcona with his team of horses and do any work there was to be found.  In 1907 the William McFadzen family had another boy - John.  By this time they had some land cleared so we could grow a good garden and a little grain.  The stock was increasing and we could have our own meat in the winter.  My father cured pork for the summer use and we had many meals of rabbit and other sorts of wild game. 
Mr. William Durham was one of the early settlers.  He stayed at our place while he built his log home.  He is still living today (1972) at the age of 101 years.  His place was by one of the Twin Lakes.  We were one of the earliest settlers and many new comers found their way to our place; they were always welcome and if they stayed all night we made them as comfortable as we could on the floor.  The district was made up of people from all walks of life.  Our only entertainments were house parties where we sang, danced or just plain visited.  Church services were held once a month.  In the summer the young student ministers would come on horseback all the way from Strathcona.  After the school was built church services were held there.
Mr. and Mrs. Alex McDonald and family were among the earliest settlers.  They had the post office and this was a great place for the neighbors to meet and visit.  They were dear friends to all who lived nearby.  There was always tea and lunch, or a meal if it was that time of day. James Gatrix, a bachelor who lived near, had a very prize team of horses.  He kept them well groomed and drove them around the neighborhood to show them off.
 In 1910 my Uncles wife passed away which left Flossie, aged 10 and myself who was 13 to look after the house and children.  Father and Uncle Bill taught us how to make bread and butter and a johnny cake which was a real treat.  The first school was opened in 1910.  This was Douglas, called after the Douglas Brothers who had homesteads on the land where it was built. It was only opened during the summer months and we had to walk two miles.  In 1911 they built the Garden school which was really our district.  My Uncle and Alex McDonald hauled the lumber from Edmonton for that school.  We lived the same distance from each school.  By this time the homesteads were all taken up, so the settlers decided they should build a council chamber.  A bee was arranged and it was built out of logs.  On the completion of the structure, they had a house warming and it was a gala affair.  One gentleman said it reminded him of a wedding.  This building was at the south end of Half-Moon Lake, where the summer resort is now.  This same year Mr. and Mrs. Casper Klarner and family of four or five children, arrived in a covered wagon from Portland, Oregon.  They became our closest neighbors.
Coming into the boom days of Strathcona, the High Level Bridge was built.  Uncle Bill was able to get pretty steady work with his team.  Our Aunts lived in Strathcona so Bill lived there when he was away from home.  The Aunties also came out to the homestead every now and then to help us get our household routine better organized.  In 1913 Uncle Bill and his son, Jim, who was 11 years old hauled gravel from Clover Bar to Strathcona with two teams.  This was to put the first pavement on Whyte Avenue.  Uncle Bill also turned the first sod for the first building of the University of Alberta.  During that time my father remained on the homestead looking after the two families. 

So as time went on, many changes took place.  We came into the First World War years, and the return of soldiers in 1918.  My father sold his place to Charles Backstrom.  In 1919 Uncle Bill sold his place under the Soldiers Settlement Board.  Now both farms are occupied by the Busenius Bros.  The original house is still there.  We moved back to Strathcona.  That year of 1919, in the early winter I married a returned soldier, Edwin McLean.  His parents, Mr. and Mrs. James McLean lived in Douglas during the war years.  Flossie married Charles Backstrom, now both have passed on.  Uncle Bill's eldest son, Jim married Beulah Ross whose parents were pioneers of Ardrossan and Garden districts.  Charles and John also married and all three boys lived in Edmonton.  Father lived to be a hundred years old; he passed away 1949.  Uncle Bill lived to the age of 67 and passed away in 1925.  My husband and myself and most of our family live in Edmonton. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Future Posts

Been watching Dear Myrtle hangouts for quite sometime and thought that I better start blogging about my family.  I don't know a lot of stories about my family due to the fact that mostly everyone has passed or that they never knew the family as they were in another country.  I will try to blog about a family member each week and see how that goes.  It will consist of all my family members from both sides of my parents.  I think it will be hard enough to maintain one blog let alone one for each side of the families.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


In January 2015, I forwarded by Preliminary Report to the Mayflower Society.  Their reply back to me was that a descendant of Maria Rollins had submitted an application.  Now according to the Society Maria is the daughter of Dorcas Oliver and John Rollins.  My ancestor is James Edward Rollins which is the brother to Maria.  Eureka. I now only have to document my line from me to James Edward Rollins.  Which is only 5 generations.  Not bad.  It could of been a lot more.  I will be making a trip to the Family History Centre in Edmonton to see what documents are available. I started a binder to file all the documents that I collect.  The Mayflower Society has also advised me that (for a fee) I can get copies of the documents that were provided to them for Maria.  I will be forwarding my request for those.  This is going to be quite the journey for me.  But one that I am willing to take.

Thursday, 19 February 2015


After many months of searching I can say almost without a doubt that I am related to William Brewster.  You are most likely wondering who the heck is William Brewster.  William and his family sailed from England to the New England on the Mayflower.  Yes the Mayflower.  William is my 12th great grandfather.  This is quite thrilling for me as I have a more of a connection with the United States then I had imaged.  William's daughter Patience Brewster married Thomas Prence.  Thomas was a very smart business man.  He became the 4th Governor of Plymouth and died a very wealthy man.  Now to take the time to find my cousins from this side of the tree.  I am sure that there will be a lot of them.  I will continue to post my findings.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


The family tree keeps growing and growing.  The amount of time I have spent mulling at the computer to find out little tidbits on my family.  But all so worth it.  For the most part I have now figured out why I am me.  It is because of them.  I feel with all the information I have gathered I am able to get to know each and every one of them personally.  To me that is a great feeling.

Monday, 22 April 2013


Attended the AGS Family Conference this weekend.  It was amazing how much knowledge and talent was in the room.  There was over 300 people in attendance.  It definitely was worth the price.  I came home and my head was still buzzing with all the knowledge that they pumped out.  I just hope that I can remember it all when I go to use it.